This was bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. Mystery Science Theater 3000 bad. The story wasn't bad, as sci-fi scenarios go, and the special effects, though a bit cheesy, were state of the art for 1976. I blame a piss poor job of directing by Michael Anderson. Who? Exactly.
But let's start with the acting. In the little production featurette on the DVD, prissy leading man Michael York extols the abilities of co-star Richard Jordan (who?), calling him -- I kid you not -- "almost Brando-esque." Apparently, he's referring to ice cream truck driver Virgil Brando of Duluth, Minnesota. In fairness, Richard Jordan (who??) did have a few traits in common with the great Marlon Brando. They both walked on two legs, inhaled oxygen and exhaled carbon dioxide. Their names have the same number of syllables and share some common letters. And...well, that's about it.
Poor Michael York. It's not his fault that, a year or so after this movie, Harrison Ford would come along in Star Wars and wink his twinkling eyes and crack his lame one-liners and re-define modern movie stardom as a series of ironic poses. So, here's poor, poor Michael York, gamely pointing a plastic laser gun at some guy in a red unitard with all the intended gravity of Olivier playing Richard II. Poor, poor, poor Michael York. He deserved so much better than to come off looking like Val Kilmer's queeny old British uncle.
So here he is, an elite police officer in the year
Anyway, they get out of the city and find the ruins of the Statue of Liberty. No, wait -- wrong movie. It wasn't the Statue of Liberty. It was another recognizable American icon, though: Peter Ustinov. He's Old. I think that's actually his name in the movie, Old. He talks to his cats. Most of the cats turn in better, more believable performances than Farrah Fawcett-Majors, all except the grey calico in the scene where they all decide to return to
This movie desperately needed a bad guy, a Darth Vader. Instead, there was only Peter Ustinov and his cats, and Farrah Fawcett-Majors, none of whom were particularly evil, except the orange tabby in the scene where they tell Old they're hitting the road in the morning. There was some hint that everything was some sort of nefarious plot by an (apparently evil) ultimate supercomputer, but HAL-9000 could've whipped it with one floppy drive tied behind its back, and gotten it to paint Aunt Polly's fence in the bargain.
Here's a question. If, as the beginning titles tell us, all of mankind in the year 22-whatever-whatever has to live under a dome because the planet has been destroyed by war, disease, pestilence, famine and poverty (but mostly pestilence), and they have to strictly control births and deaths to achieve true Zero Population Growth in order to preserve scarce resources, sure, it means Al Gore was right, as usual, BUT, when -- SPOILER ALERT! -- Logan frees their minds, man, and shows them Life on the Outside, shouldn't they immediately grab him by his golden locks and shove his pouty face into the depths of the conveniently-located water park? I'm just sayin', is all. Instead, director Michael Anderson (who??) gives us a cheesy zoom-in closeup, panning from Peter Ustinov to the Happy Couple giving him, I kid you not, a big thumps up while the newly-liberated citizens of Domesville party like it's Space 1999. Cue orchestra, big cheesy stringy violin thingies, roll "credits."
So, the inevitable remake. Actually, according to imdb, there's already one in the works. Let's see -- Scarlett Johansson as Jenny, or whatever her name was. The only thing is, wasn't she already in The Island, which was apparently a